11 Prisons Turned Hotels

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Haunted hotels are perfect for those with a love of the macabre, but staying in a old prison? That could be even creepier…because unless you’ve been in one, you have no idea what really goes on inside. Constructed as grand buildings intended to house lots of people, jails can easily be turned into hotels once a construction crew makes a few necessary upgrades. The folks at Nile Guide pulled together a list of prisons turned hotels. And we enjoy their spin on these conversions:”It’s a wonderful way to preserve classic architecture in a city and honestly, who doesn’t love a well themed hotel bar?”

liberty hotel 11 Prisons Turned Hotels

The Liberty Hotel – Boston, USA

Although The Liberty Hotel might have the coolest design of any hotel on our list, it certainly wasn’t always that way. Back when The Liberty Hotel was the Charles Street Jail, the place was so overcrowded and nasty, the US District Court ruled it was unconstitutional for even criminals to live there.

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helsink 11 Prisons Turned Hotels


Hotel Katajanokka – Helsinki, Finland

After Sweden lost control over Finland and the Russians took over in 1809, they decided the lovely hamlet of Helsinki should be made the capital. And good ‘ol Tsar Nicholas knew the first thing a capital city needs is a prison! And so he commissioned the building of a modern jail in 1832. The original jail structure was completed in 1837 and even came equipped with its own church. Three more wings were added onto the prison in subsequent years, and it was only in 2002 that it was finally put out of commission due to overcrowding.

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ottawa 11 Prisons Turned Hotels

Hosteling International Ottawa Jail Hostel – Ottawa, Canada

Built in 1862, the original Carleton County Gaol (gaol means prison in Canadian) was built in a massive, Georgian style that didn’t leave too much doubt about what it was. The beastly building was constructed without heating or toilets in the cells, and as you can imagine prisoners got a little sick of it after a while. By 1972 accusations of prisoner mistreatment really started to fly and a new gaol was built.

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malmaison 11 Prisons Turned Hotels

Malmaison Oxford – Oxford, UK

Built in 1870, this Victorian prison seems like it was made to be a hip hotel. With three tiers of cells in the central galley illuminated by massive windows, the original Oxford Prison was considered to be a real 5 star place, as for a prisons go, when it was originally built. But after years of overcrowding, the building was put on up for sale.

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For more prisons turned hotels, visit Nile Guide for the full list.

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